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View Full Version : Learned a valuable lesson about the difference between wireless and line internet



Harold Mansfield
02-07-2010, 11:40 AM
Recently I have been going back and forth between using my 3G/4G wireless modem and regular cable modem...especially the last week since I recently moved.

I was having one hell of a time accessing clients servers wirelessly..actually with the exception of one (and my own account), I couldn't do it and it was slowing me down tremendously.
Not only that, but my computer (desktop and laptop) were running painfully slow, with tons of lock ups, time outs, and I was getting kicked off of servers constantly.

So...I just had my cable installed in the new place and opted for an upgrade of the fastest pipe (internet speed) that they had available both residential and commercial and the difference is extremely noticeable.(It's only been a week that I have been without it)

I can now feel the extra Gig of RAM that I installed last week, no outside server issues and I am back to multi-tasking at the speed of (almost) light, running multiple apps, monitors and windows without any problems.

Same computer, different connection. I had forgotten what it feels like to be back in civilization.

The bottom line, wireless modems are pretty convenient, especially if you have portable computers, but don't expect to do any complex online tasks with them, especially if you need to access outside servers and networks and perform work or maintenance. They are just not up to the constant authenticating, along with all the other things that go on in the background.

I can say from experience, if you are multi tasking, they will actually slow your computer down.

All that stuff you see on T.V. where a guy pulls out a netbook and accesses the network to get some work done with a smile on his face, or playing online games and streaming video conferencing...yeah...I couldn't do any of that (well the video conferencing, but who really cares when you are trying to work) , and I thought I had the fastest thing available.

Don't get me wrong..I am not disappointed or upset with my wireless company, but they ALL greatly exaggerate the abilities of their network.

Maybe someone with a little more tech knowledge on upload/downlaod speeds, servers, and the issue of wireless and relays can elaborate more.

vangogh
02-07-2010, 03:35 PM
The internet companies will all advertise their theoretical top speeds, though in practice you aren't going to get those top speeds. It also depends a lot on your connection.

Wireless is also slower than wired. If you're connecting over 3G then you should be getting something close to what's advertised, but if you have a connection wired into your home and then you're accessing that connection through a wireless modem the speed will be determined by the weakest link in the connection, which will be the wireless.

Wireless modems have advanced over the years. A few years back we connected over wireless b, then it was wireless, g, and now it's wireless n. However if your modem uses b or g then those are the speeds you're getting.

One more thing to consider is that most internet providers have several levels of speed they offer. The more you're willing to pay the more bandwidth you get. There's more than one level of high speed connection and the internet providers add new levels over time. If you signed up for a connection a few years ago you probably aren't getting the fastest connection your provider offers today.

One last thing. Download and upload speeds are usually not the same. You generally get much more download speed than you do upload speed and the speeds advertised will be the download speed.

Harold Mansfield
02-07-2010, 03:59 PM
I never have a problem with my cable connection. I have been upgrading since DSL was all the rage.
I hear my local provider is coming out with a 50G access plan. They want $120 a month for it, but I think I may have to check it out.



One more thing to consider is that most internet providers have several levels of speed they offer. The more you're willing to pay the more bandwidth you get. There's more than one level of high speed connection and the internet providers add new levels over time. If you signed up for a connection a few years ago you probably aren't getting the fastest connection your provider offers today.


I know, and I hate that. Why not just have "Internet Access" and just give us the fastest thing you have.

I know novices or casual users will opt for the lower speed, but if they really knew the difference, who would call the cable company and say "Give me the slowest thing you have"? "I want to do some stuff online, but I don't mind waiting to download a photo or some music..I'm not in that big of a hurry".

The phone company offers you a connection..they don't have "Less static" and "No static" plans.

You don't get a difference in flow from the water company...they don't ask you , "How many times a day do you think you'll be flushing the toilet?"....just give me water!

I hate the way they ration out the internet access...it's a scam. Because they aren't actually turning it up for power users...they are turning it down for those that budget the bandwidth.
It's not a luxury anymore..it's a utility.</rant>

billbenson
02-07-2010, 11:27 PM
You know, its funny. Verizon put in a bunch of fiber to the curb in our area and are heavily advertising their service that is better than the cable company according to them. In the ad, they really quickly say up to 1Mbs. They require a 1 year contract. Used to be two. They are also the local wireline telephone company.

I have used the cable company here for years. TV, phone, internet. They have no contract required. Great service. 4 or 5 years ago I had 5M of service with them (download). For the last several years I have had a much higher value from online tests. For a test to a router server near me I have a 32M download and 1.7M upload. I never paid for that, it's just what they give me.

I checked on a couple of other speed tests. One shows me 15M download from CA and 17M from atlanta which is a lot closer. Both were 1.7 upload.

If you recall back in the old days you could pay a few thousand a month and get a dedicated T1 (1.544) That was fast. Why, because it was a dedicated circuit.

If you have 5M or more these days, your fine. Your ISP may slow you down, the web server on the site you are connected to may be busy. Routers in between send a packet here and a packet there. They also have priority routing. I did a 4 G download a while back. Took three try's and the successful one was 14 hours.

4G / 30mbs = 133.33 seconds not 14 hours.

Nobody is really lying to you. My ISP is probably giving me that 33M or whatever download. But in the context of how they are giving it to you its deceiving. You just want what your ISP is giving you not to be the bottle neck in the system.

As far as wireless, its a much slower speed, with all kinds of error correction checksums / security in it. It will certainly be slower. Also, the speeds are quoted as ideal. Start going through walls and its much slower.

nealrm
02-07-2010, 11:36 PM
Sounds like you had a spotty connection in your home. I've used a 3G connection in both Atlanta and St. Louis. When I had the full 3G connection it was as fast as my DSL upgraded service at home. Of course if the modem is connecting at less than 3G or you hit a cell tower with a high load, thing can be alot slower.

Harold Mansfield
02-08-2010, 10:05 AM
As far as wireless, its a much slower speed, with all kinds of error correction checksums / security in it. It will certainly be slower. Also, the speeds are quoted as ideal. Start going through walls and its much slower.

What can I say ? I drank the Kool-Aide. I'm an easy target when it comes to tech. All you have to do is "WOW" me for under $500 (especially under $300) and I'm likely to try it.


Sounds like you had a spotty connection in your home. I've used a 3G connection in both Atlanta and St. Louis. When I had the full 3G connection it was as fast as my DSL upgraded service at home. Of course if the modem is connecting at less than 3G or you hit a cell tower with a high load, thing can be alot slower.

I'm looking at the tower ( disguised as a palm tree) , but I now know that means nothing. Vegas is a pretty big city, with plenty of access..maybe too much.
I remember 'back in the day'..working on the strip, you would get network time outs during conventions and trade shows. An extra 200k people in town would over load just about everything that had to do with communications.
Those days have been over for quite some time.

Wireless is cool, don't get me wrong. I think the technology is amazing. But it's not as reliable as a cable in the back of your unit.
The days of sitting at a Starbucks and having a client call you with a problem and whipping out your netbook to FTP his server files are not quite there yet. (You could probably do it with a company network if it was programmed to recognize your specific signature)

Like I said before, these guys ( wireless companies) greatly exaggerate the abilities of their internet, VG put it best..."Theoretical top speeds"...It's a connection...and it's pretty fast ( and I've used it in a couple of different cities) ...but it ain't the same.

The commercials are "best case scenario". It's the miracle of marketing..they show people during broad daylight ( which you assume to be business hours) performing work related, complex tasks...but that is not the reality of how powerful the networks really are. Maybe if you are just checking emails, but not if you are actually working and need to be connected to something besides Google.

All in all, I still wouldn't be caught dead without a wireless modem in my pocket...and I wouldn't take any stars off of a review because of this. Wireless is still the shiznit.

Anyone remember Dial Up ?

nealrm
02-08-2010, 12:56 PM
Anyone remember Dial Up ? Isn't that the soap that is 99% pure and floats on water :D.

KristineS
02-08-2010, 01:40 PM
Anyone remember Dial Up ?

Oh wow, does that take me back. I stuck with dial up for far longer than I should have done because it was cheaper. Now I wouldn't be without my high speed internet for any amount of money. It is more expensive, but I can do so much more.

Business Attorney
02-08-2010, 01:55 PM
I think I still have an old Hayes 9600 baud modem somewhere in the basement ...

Patrysha
02-08-2010, 02:06 PM
Had to go from satellite high speed to dial up two moves back. Hardest year ever! Didn't want to go back, but had to because there was no other option that we could afford (getting another satellite deal just wasn't feasible)

Harold Mansfield
02-08-2010, 03:05 PM
Had to go from satellite high speed to dial up two moves back. Hardest year ever! Didn't want to go back, but had to because there was no other option that we could afford (getting another satellite deal just wasn't feasible)

So how does the satellite connection work ? Is it like..Dish->Up to a Satellite->Down to a Receiver-> ?
Kind of like a relay thing?

How good is it?

billbenson
02-08-2010, 05:02 PM
About 2 years ago, someone on a forum had one. It was slow and weather dependent, but the only option in her area. Thats all I know on the subject.

nealrm
02-09-2010, 01:35 AM
I've know a few people that did satellite, none liked it. Uploading is done via phone wire and download via a satellite feed. If works on the premise that you download much more than you upload.

Harold Mansfield
02-09-2010, 02:04 AM
I just did a speed test just to see where I'm at:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/710686896.png (http://www.speedtest.net)

It's not great, but it's not horrible either.
Ran it again and got a little better:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/710689546.png (http://www.speedtest.net)
http://www.speedtest.net/rank/1185558128.png (http://www.speedtest.net)
Can't wait until they roll out this 50G plan. That has to be insanely fast.

vangogh
02-09-2010, 02:31 AM
Why are you complaining about that speed? It's about 3 times as fast as what I get and I'm pretty much at the high end of what I can buy here. I think my only choice to upgrade at the moment is to have a T1 line installed, but I can't justify the price yet.

Harold Mansfield
02-09-2010, 03:30 AM
I'm not complaining, but they have faster. I just really hate the way they tier everything.
Maybe I'm spoiled...or just impatient, but I could definitely see me upgrading when I can.

If you look at the test site, compared to other countries we are actually pretty slow.
I think the U.S. ranks 30th for broadband speed.

vangogh
02-09-2010, 04:08 AM
I'm kidding. I wish I could get a faster connection here. Right now I'm waiting on someone to install FIOS in town. I'm hoping that's what's going on with all the roads being worked on. For now I think my only option is a T1. It's a little more money than I want to pay at the moment, though it would be tax deductible for me.

I know we lag behind other countries, which is crazy when you think about it. No reason the U.S. would have to be #1 in terms of speed, but you'd think we could manage better than #30.

billbenson
02-09-2010, 03:41 PM
Still, when I went from 5M to 20M to currently 33M I saw no visible difference.

Case in point. I just started a large download. It's giving me 900kbs. If I have 50M download speed from my ISP, I'm still going to be downloading at 900kbs.

Take your Ferrari out in LA rush hour traffic and you are still going to be going 30 mph most of the time.

vangogh
02-09-2010, 04:11 PM
That happens to me too and it's frustrating. We can buy all the bandwidth we want from out ISPs, but if the site we want to download from or upload to has imposed their own limits the slower speed will always prevail.

nealrm
02-09-2010, 05:43 PM
I know we lag behind other countries, which is crazy when you think about it. No reason the U.S. would have to be #1 in terms of speed, but you'd think we could manage better than #30.

I don't think it is so much that we lag behind other countries, it's that many of the countries are mostly providing to the high end customer. Korea is #2 on the average bandwidth. Yet I can't believe that the average person in Korea has better access to high bandwidth than I do.

vangogh
02-09-2010, 05:48 PM
Yet I can't believe that the average person in Korea has better access to high bandwidth than I do.

I can't say this as a fact because I don't know, but I think the average person with an internet connection does have better bandwidth. I don't think it's just a matter of a few at the high end.

billbenson
02-09-2010, 11:19 PM
Remember that a lot of these places are smaller and less rural areas. Any 2nd or 3rd world country is not going to have the infrastructure in place at all. Copper wires in bad shape but no fiber. They are skipping the cable step that we did here. We went from wireline to cable to fibre. I have two fiber providers (phone company and cable company) at my door step. It won't be to far in the future that we have fiber throughout the homes. Some already do in wealthier neighborhoods.

But we have a huge country with isolated towns across it. Look down while flying at night and all you see is black. No lights. Its not cost justifyable to run fiber to one farm house. Or even cable?

And then, all but the most rural people can get wireless, frequently for free. I don't know what the effective bandwidth that you will get sitting in a hot spot, but its enough for most business people to do their job.

And who really needs all this bandwidth? kids on youtube when they should be studying, streaming video from Netflix, people in the video field working remotely, corporations, webmasters uploading websites, Software vendors selling programs by download. They could all use it, although the kids could do with a littles youtube and gaming.

Who doesn't need it. Most people. A field salesman communicating with the db at corporate for a quote doesn't need much bandwidth. Shopping online doesn't require much. Really, the only thing that the user today needs bandwidth for is video, be it youtube or streamed movies. This is a rapidly growning requirement, though.

So what is this "supposed" standard that says we have such lousy internet service?

Harold Mansfield
02-09-2010, 11:41 PM
You know I can't really judge for sure until I get a new unit in. I'm still bangin my old Compaq Desktop..although I have upgraded the RAM to pretty much 4x's what it came with, external memory and such.. and think that I keep it clean...it still has to be clogged with 4 years of crap that has built up little by little over time.

Neither my laptop or Netbook are any faster than my desktop when hooked up to cable, but I think I'll need a more powerful unit to see a true representation of the speed available...expecting a new unit this month...1G video card, 6GB RAM (currently I'm using 3.5GB) and a bunch of other stuff that would make me sound like a true geek if I wrote it all down.

We'll see what it's like with a clean unit and a fat pipe.

billbenson
02-10-2010, 12:53 AM
Be careful in buying to much RAM for a 32 bit machine. 2 to the 32nd power is about 4.2G which should be the maximum a 32 bit board can support. I did a quick search and the concensus seems to be that Win 7 can only give you 3.5 G or so and most of that is used up for system resources. I found some conflicting information, but if you are curious you might want to do a few searches.I don't think the 6 G Ram over 4G will do anything for you unless you are on a 64 bit machine and OS.

Harold Mansfield
02-10-2010, 01:26 AM
Be careful in buying to much RAM for a 32 bit machine. 2 to the 32nd power is about 4.2G which should be the maximum a 32 bit board can support. I did a quick search and the concensus seems to be that Win 7 can only give you 3.5 G or so and most of that is used up for system resources. I found some conflicting information, but if you are curious you might want to do a few searches.I don't think the 6 G Ram over 4G will do anything for you unless you are on a 64 bit machine and OS.

I had the specs wrong..it is 4G RAM on Windows 7, 32 bit.


AMD 3.0GHz Athlon II x2 250 AM3, 4GB DDR2/800, 500GB SATAII, DVD-RW, NVIDIA 9400 1GB Video, 500 watt Power Supply, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full Version CD 32 bit

So that should be O.K. right ?
Or would it be best to go with 64 bit?
What's the difference anyway between the two ?

nealrm
02-10-2010, 09:45 AM
The big thing with the 64 bit OS is that they can take advantage of more memory space. If you are doing any type of photo or video work, I would go 64 bit and more memory. The 64 bit system can also be of some use in high end games. For general word processing, general games and webwork the 32 bit system will work nicely.

Spider
02-10-2010, 10:38 AM
Oh dear!

http://www.speedtest.net/result/712220963.png (http://www.speedtest.net)

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!!!

Harold Mansfield
02-10-2010, 11:08 AM
The big thing with the 64 bit OS is that they can take advantage of more memory space. If you are doing any type of photo or video work, I would go 64 bit and more memory. The 64 bit system can also be of some use in high end games. For general word processing, general games and webwork the 32 bit system will work nicely.

Thanks for that. I'm not totally lost, but on hardware I'm a hack. I just want it fast and responsive. The only terminology that I can say with certainty "I know what that is" is pretty much the chip speed, RAM, Hard Drive ( and the differences), Video Card, and Sound Card..after that, I need Google search to figure it out.

Harold Mansfield
02-10-2010, 11:16 AM
Oh dear!

http://www.speedtest.net/result/712220963.png (http://www.speedtest.net)

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!!!

Oh my ! But honestly look at it in the grand scheme. "Earthlink"...I'm assuming that is DSL ? which is getting faster all the time.
Do you really 'power use' ? How many hours a day do you think you spend online in one form or another ?

I'm on 10 hours on a normal day..in and out of admin panels, FTP programs and server files, all while listening to streaming music all day..., so I need to go as fast as possible or I'll throw the thing through the window around hour 6.(seriously..I have no patience online)

What I'm saying is that's not necessarily horrible if you don't spend all day in the chair...if you do..it may be time for an intervention..just depends how important it is to you and how much you use.

No since in spending the extra money if you only use a few hours a week.

vangogh
02-10-2010, 12:59 PM
Frederick the speed your getting isn't bad. It's pretty much the same as I get. You probably have a DSL line and pay for 7 MBps. You never get that full speed, which is why you see 6.35. Harold gets some really good speed, more than most people I think.

Harold as far as the difference between 32 and 64 bits the main thing to know from your point of view is 32 bits means an upper limit of 4GB of RAM. 64 bits means an upper limit of 16 Hexabytes of Ram

1 gigabyte is 1,000,000,000 or 10e9 bytes.
1 hexabyte is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes or 10e18 bytes

That's a lot more storage and a lot more processing power.

Harold Mansfield
02-10-2010, 02:40 PM
Harold as far as the difference between 32 and 64 bits the main thing to know from your point of view is 32 bits means an upper limit of 4GB of RAM. 64 bits means an upper limit of 16 Hexabytes of Ram

1 gigabyte is 1,000,000,000 or 10e9 bytes.
1 hexabyte is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes or 10e18 bytes

That's a lot more storage and a lot more processing power.

Hmmnn. I hear what you are saying but all I focused on was "a lot more processing power".

Is there a difference in compatibility with my existing software ?
If I were to get a 64 bit system, would I have to get the 64 bit version for all of my software ?

Spider
02-10-2010, 02:44 PM
Actually, chaps, I'm on cable - Comcast - and the little dodad in my system tray says Speed: 48Mbps, Signal Strength: Very Good, right now. It varies and the best I recall seeing is Excellent strength and 56Mbps speed. I have a local wireless router to get the signal around the house.

And I do spend all day on line (and all evening), but I wouldn't think myself a heavy user of resources. I tend to turn off one application before starting another. It is rare for me to have more than 5 or 6 windows open at any one time. I would suspect my heaviest internet use is accessing my stock account, looking at charts, streaming price updates, and the occasional Youtube clip. Other than that, it is discussion forum, Facebook and LinkedIn.

I don't watch movies, don't listen to music and don't upload or download stuff except the occasional change to my website, one page at a time, by ftp.

I have never thought that I was using a slow connection - it always seemed more or less instant and I don't feel the need for faster than 'more-or-less-instant'!

Harold Mansfield
02-10-2010, 03:33 PM
Actually, chaps, I'm on cable - Comcast - and the little dodad in my system tray says Speed: 48Mbps, Signal Strength: Very Good, right now. It varies and the best I recall seeing is Excellent strength and 56Mbps speed. I have a local wireless router to get the signal around the house.

And I do spend all day on line (and all evening), but I wouldn't think myself a heavy user of resources. I tend to turn off one application before starting another. It is rare for me to have more than 5 or 6 windows open at any one time. I would suspect my heaviest internet use is accessing my stock account, looking at charts, streaming price updates, and the occasional Youtube clip. Other than that, it is discussion forum, Facebook and LinkedIn.

I don't watch movies, don't listen to music and don't upload or download stuff except the occasional change to my website, one page at a time, by ftp.

I have never thought that I was using a slow connection - it always seemed more or less instant and I don't feel the need for faster than 'more-or-less-instant'!

Then there is no reason to change anything. As you said, it fluctuates..all of ours do. I get my best speed late at night,..there are times in mid afternoon when it seems like my modem is completely off.
Just the nature of the beast.

vangogh
02-10-2010, 05:39 PM
If I were to get a 64 bit system, would I have to get the 64 bit version for all of my software?

You shouldn't have to. It would most likely mean your current software simply isn't taking advantage of the greater processing power. If none of your software is taking advantage of it then you aren't going to see any benefits of changing to 64 bit.

I you shouldn't have to, because I think any 64 bit system would be able to run any program written for 32 bit, but I'm not 100&#37; sure. Close to 100%, but not quite. I suppose if the OS is written for 64 bit it could cause issues in older programs, much the same way some software doesn't work after you upgrade any OS. For the most part I would think everything would work fine, with the occasional exception.

billbenson
02-10-2010, 11:11 PM
Most software out there for windows I suspect is 32 bit. The box you have may be 64 bit, but from my experience, unless you populate it with more than 4G of RAM it won't do you any good. In fact it may hurt you. If you have 4G in a windows 32 bit os, about 60&#37; of that or more goes to overhead memory running the box. If you go to 64 bit, more ram is required for overhead. I believe this is why my Linux box at 64 has been giving me problems. The system needs to much memory just to breathe. There is nothing left over for applications, particularly when I frequently have a bunch of memory intensive stuff open.

I'm building my new box. It's going to be 64 bit Linux i7 processor with 12G. When its done and working I'm going to downgrade my current system to 32 bit and see if my lockup problems don't go away.

As far as software goes, I suspect all your software will work on the 64 bit install, but it may be buggy and have less availble memory to work with.

MS is in the business of forcing you to upgrade your software. They come out with a new os, software manufacturers build for that and don't support the old stuff and eventually you have to upgrade. MS won't let you put the latest version of IE on an XP machine for example. The older versions aren't as css compliant so things to render properly as web designers build for the newer software and quit supporting the old.

So IMO eventually you will be forced into 64 bit and a machine that handles more RAM than 4. Even if most people don't need the capabilities that the 64 bit provides, not just yet anyway.

Harold Mansfield
02-11-2010, 01:43 PM
So I think I'll just stay with my plan of getting the 32bit system.If there is a learning curve or adjustments that need to be made by going with a 64 bit, I don't have time for that right now...I need to have everything running smoothly right out of the box with no interruptions.

nighthawk
02-12-2010, 09:35 AM
I you shouldn't have to, because I think any 64 bit system would be able to run any program written for 32 bit, but I'm not 100% sure. Close to 100%, but not quite. I suppose if the OS is written for 64 bit it could cause issues in older programs, much the same way some software doesn't work after you upgrade any OS. For the most part I would think everything would work fine, with the occasional exception.

All currently available processors are 64bit natively, with support for 32bit emulation. I am not sure about current generation chips, but when 64bit processors first appeared, the 32bit mode was said to be comparable to a true 32bit chip of the same clock speed, whereas the 64bit mode would offer slightly better performance.

The processor can run both 64bit and 32bit code at the same time, so running 32bit applications on a 64bit OS is no problem. The only issue is with plugins and drivers - because the OS is 64bit, all drivers must also be 64bit. This also effects things like Internet Explorer - all plugins must be 64bit (there was an issue originally with Flash only being 32 bit. Windows XP 64bit contains both a 32 and 64bit version of IE)

I have been running windows XP 64Bit for a few years now, and have not found a single program that will not work, although I have occasionally had driver issues, particularly with older printers etc.



The box you have may be 64 bit, but from my experience, unless you populate it with more than 4G of RAM it won't do you any good. In fact it may hurt you. If you have 4G in a windows 32 bit os, about 60% of that or more goes to overhead memory running the box. If you go to 64 bit, more ram is required for overhead. I believe this is why my Linux box at 64 has been giving me problems. The system needs to much memory just to breathe. There is nothing left over for applications, particularly when I frequently have a bunch of memory intensive stuff open.


A 32bit OS can only really access 3.5Gb of memory, it is possible to "Fake" access to the rest, but only the OS can use the extra memory (or certain programs specifically written to allow support for it). There should be no differences in overhead when moving from 32 to 64bit, or adding more memory. The OS needs as much as it needs, regardless of what is available. (More than 3.5Gb on a 32bit OS being the exception.)

Memory management on a linux system is completely different to that of a windows system. On both, the OS will take as much memory as it needs, followed by applications. However a linux system will then claim up all remaining memory, and use it for caching various operations, such as file system operations etc. As soon as a process launches and requests memory, the linux OS will release the required amount from the cache, and give it back to the application.

As such when you check memory usage on a linux system, it will always be pretty high, close to 100%. This doesnt mean you are short of memory, just that the system is using that memory more efficiently.

billbenson
02-12-2010, 01:53 PM
Good explanation on the Linux memory management, Gavin. I'm still going to downgrade my Linux 64 box with 3 G of ram to Linux 32 when I have my new machine set up. It will be interesting to see if the performance improves. I did read that the system memory requirements were lower for the 32 vs 64.

I'm not very good with Linux and this could be related to set up errors on my part as well.

Harold Mansfield
02-13-2010, 11:10 AM
Thanks Gavin, that was actually very helpful

billbenson
02-13-2010, 10:53 PM
Frederick the speed your getting isn't bad. It's pretty much the same as I get. You probably have a DSL line and pay for 7 MBps. You never get that full speed, which is why you see 6.35. Harold gets some really good speed, more than most people I think.

Harold as far as the difference between 32 and 64 bits the main thing to know from your point of view is 32 bits means an upper limit of 4GB of RAM. 64 bits means an upper limit of 16 Hexabytes of Ram

1 gigabyte is 1,000,000,000 or 10e9 bytes.
1 hexabyte is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes or 10e18 bytes

That's a lot more storage and a lot more processing power.

Actually, VG, not to be to picky, but shouldn't that be 2 to the 64th power? It's a binary number.


Here is the answer to the problem: compute the exponential expression: 2 e64

2 e64 = 18446744073709551616, that is to say 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 is read in English as:

"eighteen quintillion, four hundred fourty-six quadrillion, seven hundred fourty-four trillion,
seventy-four billion, seven hundred nine million, five hundred fifty-one thousand, six hundred sixteen."

vangogh
02-14-2010, 12:54 PM
Yeah, but I think we're calculating different things. I was just comparing a GB and a HB to a byte. Technically even the GB calculation should really be a 2 eXX calculation, but it's often accepted to use base 10 since most people understand it easier.

Technically 1 MB = 1024 byts, but most people just refer to it as being 1,000 bytes.

So yes you're calculation is really more accurate.

billbenson
02-14-2010, 02:13 PM
Ya, I was referring to the difference in the amount of memory a 64 bit machine could access vs 32 which is a huge difference, not just twice. It also is one reason a truly 64 bit processor is so much faster if run at 64 vs 32.

vangogh
02-14-2010, 03:05 PM
Yep, and again what you said is more correct than what I said. We're still in the transition from 32 bit to 64 bit, but once that transition is complete it's going to be great for all of us, given how much more processing power we'll have.

billbenson
02-14-2010, 06:54 PM
I think I mentioned somewhere, that my 64 bit linux system with 4 G of RAM has memory problems (or at least it behaves like memory problems) after I look at a video or two. The system screems to a halt, no flash images such as banners work, pdf's won't work, I have to reboot. That is after only playing a video or two.

Well I have my new pc working. 64 bit linux i7 processor 12 G of ram. I haven't cut over to it yet, but I should cut over in a week or less.

Last night I opened 20 or so videos in different tabs at the same time. I figured that would be a good test. The videos seemed to have no impact on system speed. It's really fast for stuff I have tested. I probably over bought in the new pc, but I was so frustrated with the old one (one year old btw), that I went fairly extreme.

For anyone considering Linux, getting the thing setup and working is a pain, and there is a pretty good learning curve. Having said that, I doubt I'll ever go back to windows for a bunch of reasons. I just need to sit down for a week and really learn it.

Harold Mansfield
02-25-2010, 09:46 PM
Just got the notice for the new service that my ISP is rolling out.
Right now I have 18Mbps which they call "Premier", however I can get the new 50Mbps service (which they are calling "Ultimate") for the same price as a special right now...so I did.

Can't wait, the guy has to come out Sat and give me a new modem for it.
I'm all tingly just thinking about it.
I should be able to multi task my butt off with that and stream all kinds of stuff.

I still think rationing out the bandwidth is a scam, but what are you gonna do?

vangogh
02-26-2010, 02:53 AM
50 Mbps? Wow. I'm not sure I can even imagine that right now.

Just took a look at Qwest and I see I can up my speed to 20 Mbps. I think it will cost what I'm paying now for 7 Mbps for a year and then after the year is up it'll be an additional $25 or $30 from what I pay now. Probably worth it for the year. Of course in a year I won't be able to deal with the slower speed so I'll have no choice, but to pay the extra money.

Harold Mansfield
02-26-2010, 04:32 AM
50 Mbps? Wow. I'm not sure I can even imagine that right now.

Just took a look at Qwest and I see I can up my speed to 20 Mbps. I think it will cost what I'm paying now for 7 Mbps for a year and then after the year is up it'll be an additional $25 or $30 from what I pay now. Probably worth it for the year. Of course in a year I won't be able to deal with the slower speed so I'll have no choice, but to pay the extra money.

That's pretty much how they're getting me...I get it for the same price as what I have now for a year and then it goes up to regular price, which they don't even tell you what it is...I'm estimating it's an additional $50 a month based on what they say I'll save off of the regular price.

I'm hoping in a year that they come up with some other kind of plan or bundle or what ever else they keep changing every month.

Edited:
It's probably only a matter of time that it rolls out across all cable companies...I mean cable is cable right ? Lotta stuff getting amped up lately..Clear is slowly (I mean slowly) rolling out WIMAX service in big markets...Sprint started testing their 4G service over a year ago in St Louis and now are taking it Nationwide.
Looks like over the next few months to 2 years we will be closing that gap of service and bandwidth that other countries like Korea seem to be enjoying.

Still don't know if I want to pay $150 - $175 a month for fastest available access, and that doesn't include any T.V...maybe I'm cheap, but that seems awfully ridiculous.

vangogh
02-26-2010, 12:11 PM
I'm with you on the prices. The other thing is my internet connection has never been great. It's down more often than it should be. Faster is only better if I'm actually connected. Do I want to spend more money for spotty service?

billbenson
02-26-2010, 04:52 PM
I was reading elsewhere that the maximum you will realistically get after going through ISP's routers etc is about 3.3M for streaming video. For a download speed it really is more of a buzzword than something that matters if you have at least 5M.

Upload, I run 800K which is good. If you use a VoIP phone, remember it uses a lot of upload bandwidth.

One thing I'm not sure of Eborg, is if you have a bunch of videos downloading at the same time, they are coming through different paths so as long as your ISP is giving you good bandwidth you may be able to utilize more of your ISP's bandwidth? I'm going to check more on that one.

Harold Mansfield
02-26-2010, 05:08 PM
One thing I'm not sure of Eborg, is if you have a bunch of videos downloading at the same time, they are coming through different paths so as long as your ISP is giving you good bandwidth you may be able to utilize more of your ISP's bandwidth? I'm going to check more on that one.

I'll be honest..I have no idea. All I hear is "More, for the same price". Most of my questions were about covering any and every scenario to ensure that I wouldn't be responsible for any charges that I wasn't made aware of to get this higher speed.

When the service tech comes, I'll ask him a few questions and see if I can get some more info about how they are doing it.

Spider
02-26-2010, 06:40 PM
Harold - that speedtest thing you had earlier on in this thread also had something called a Registry Booster. Do you know anything about that?

I clicked and had them do a scan and found - supposedly - 605 erros in my registry. Reading the blurb, it sounds so dire that I should be surprised that my computer is continuing to run at all. If I have them fix these errors (software available for $29.99!) I will get fewer system crashes and faster start up, fewer hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and better weather in Houston!!! And goodness knows what other benefits!

Seeing as I have never had a system crash or anything more serious that a MSIE browser lock up (which I believe Microsoft builds into their browser to stop people getting too complacent!) and my start up process takes all of 10 seconds first thing in the morning, I wonder what these 605 errors could possibly be doing. Eating away at the plastic insides of my laptop, perhaps?!!

Do you (or anyone, for that matters) know anything of these people and whether their warnings have any validity?

vangogh
02-26-2010, 07:59 PM
I don't have any experience with the specifics of what you saw, but my instincts are telling me they're scaring you solely to get you to buy their product. I highly doubt it's anything you need or that you would even notice a difference in performance if you do buy their product.

Harold Mansfield
02-26-2010, 08:28 PM
Harold - that speedtest thing you had earlier on in this thread also had something called a Registry Booster. Do you know anything about that?

I clicked and had them do a scan and found - supposedly - 605 erros in my registry. Reading the blurb, it sounds so dire that I should be surprised that my computer is continuing to run at all. If I have them fix these errors (software available for $29.99!) I will get fewer system crashes and faster start up, fewer hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and better weather in Houston!!! And goodness knows what other benefits!

Seeing as I have never had a system crash or anything more serious that a MSIE browser lock up (which I believe Microsoft builds into their browser to stop people getting too complacent!) and my start up process takes all of 10 seconds first thing in the morning, I wonder what these 605 errors could possibly be doing. Eating away at the plastic insides of my laptop, perhaps?!!

Do you (or anyone, for that matters) know anything of these people and whether their warnings have any validity?
This is based on what I have learned on my own..a Registry Cleaner ( or Registry Booster, or any other name claiming to speed up your Registry) finds broken files, links, and old pathways and either repairs them, or gets rid of them.

I guess during day to day operations, installing, uninstalling and your virus stuff working in the background...you pick up little bits of crap, or stuff that you need gets jumbled or broken.

The cleaner targets the stuff that is important for your daily operations.

(if someone were to chime in and say I was completely wrong about what it is, I wouldn't argue)

All I know is, the first time I ran one, I could tell the difference.

I use a free one called CCleaner (http://www.ccleaner.com/).

Works pretty well, Updates regularly and it cleans out some gunk every now and then, empties your cache, temporary files, dumps the recycle bin, History, and basically cleans out garbage all at once, instead of doing it by hand. You can set it to clean out cookies, form history and all kinds of stuff.

I run it about twice a week.

vangogh
02-26-2010, 09:13 PM
What you're saying makes sense. However given that there are free registry cleaners such as the one you linked to, I'll stand by my statement that the speedtest company is using scare tactics to get you to buy something you don't need to buy.

My guess is how much of a difference you would notice would depend on the shape of your registry. If you regularly clean temp files, the trash, etc. how much of a performance boost are you going to see? If you don't do those things regularly then yeah, you likely will notice the difference.

Seems like a good idea to give the free cleaner a try since it really isn't going to hurt anything. The only danger would be if it doesn't back up the registry before cleaning it (just in case), though I would think it does back up first and if not you can do that yourself.

Harold Mansfield
02-26-2010, 09:26 PM
And anyway...anyone that offers you a free scan is GOING to find something. I don't think that anyone in the history of the web ever clicked one of those free scans and had everything come up clean and perfect.

Even the door to door vacuum cleaner salesman didn't leave anything to chance...he brought his own dirt just in case.

Spider
02-26-2010, 11:40 PM
Well, I tried Mr. Ccleaner and I'm still alive! Seems like a bunch of stuff was removed (can't remember how much but it seemed like a lot) Then I ran the in-house Disk Cleanup (by Microsoft, I presume) and there was very little to be removed - about 200k - so it seems like Ccleaner did a good job.

If the my laptop starts up properly tomorrow morning, I'll go back and make a donation.

Thanks for the link, Harold.

billbenson
02-27-2010, 12:08 AM
CC cleaner is supposed to be pretty good. Be careful when someone wants you to install something like a registry cleaner on your site and tells you you have bunch of problems. It may be a trick to install spyware.

The day to day use of a pc creates a lot of registry entries that are no longer used, inefficient, etc. A lot of windows users to a fresh install of windows every 6 months or a year. I made image backups so I could take my system back to when I first installed windows in a quick restore rather than a complete install from scratch.

Just like a car, you need a tune up every once and a while.

vangogh
02-27-2010, 02:12 AM
I don't think that anyone in the history of the web ever clicked one of those free scans and had everything come up clean and perfect.

Truer words have never been spoken.

Spider
02-27-2010, 10:10 AM
The trusty laptop fired up this morning with only a slight hitch - possibly not related to Ccleaner. My Eudora e-mail app sat waiting, for what I do not know. Closed it and opened MSIE, which connected to the internet and brought up my base homepage (BBC World News) quite a bit faster than normal. I went back and tried Eudora again and it connected and downloaded my e-mail instantly.

So, Yes, I would say Ccleaner gave me an extra few seconds and made everything feel shiny and new again.

With a little hope, I tried the speedtest again but still got a poor response.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/731011401.png (http://www.speedtest.net)

It occurs to me that Speedtest is not really checking the actual connection speed but a simulation of it. I mean, how can THEY get inside MY machine and read the ACTUAL speed without the results being passed over the same connection to their machine to read it?!

This leads me to think that they are supposing that I have an Earthlink Dialup or DSL connection, whereas I have a Comcast cable connection purchased through Earthlink (but paid directly to Comcast) while EL remain my ISP.

I raise this because, if my thinking is anything close to correct, this speed test may not be very accurate.

Current connection speed, according to the Wireless connection indicator in my system tray, is 48 Mpbs, not 6!

Harold Mansfield
02-27-2010, 10:51 AM
The trusty laptop fired up this morning with only a slight hitch - possibly not related to Ccleaner. My Eudora e-mail app sat waiting, for what I do not know. Closed it and opened MSIE, which connected to the internet and brought up my base homepage (BBC World News) quite a bit faster than normal. I went back and tried Eudora again and it connected and downloaded my e-mail instantly.

So, Yes, I would say Ccleaner gave me an extra few seconds and made everything feel shiny and new again.

With a little hope, I tried the speedtest again but still got a poor response.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/731011401.png (http://www.speedtest.net)

It occurs to me that Speedtest is not really checking the actual connection speed but a simulation of it. I mean, how can THEY get inside MY machine and read the ACTUAL speed without the results being passed over the same connection to their machine to read it?!

This leads me to think that they are supposing that I have an Earthlink Dialup or DSL connection, whereas I have a Comcast cable connection purchased through Earthlink (but paid directly to Comcast) while EL remain my ISP.

I raise this because, if my thinking is anything close to correct, this speed test may not be very accurate.

Current connection speed, according to the Wireless connection indicator in my system tray, is 48 Mpbs, not 6!

If I understand the speed test correctly, they are estimating your speed from your machine to predetermined servers of theirs. So no, it's not an accurate representation of your exact speed from your ISP in all situations...just that test..from you to them ( at that given time).

So basically what it's saying is, if you were downloading a file from this server right now, you are only getting this amount of bandwidth.

No matter how much we get from out ISP's we are still at the mercy of servers on the other side, spikes in traffic, glitches and temporary outages, connection resets, and probably even solar flares ( who knows?)

My ISP may give me 50mbps, but it means nothing if the server I'm talking to is only capable of giving up 8mpbs at the time.

I'm sure you've see that frustration with editing your Facebook page..it doesn't matter how good your computer is running if their servers are operating at a crawl.

Spider
02-27-2010, 11:26 AM
I see. So, if my nearest Speedtest server is in Austin, TX, 150 miles away from me, in a very heavily populated, very hi-tech area, with heavy demands on the internet - and your nearest Speedtest server is just around the corner from you (under 50 miles) in a less demanding area - we are going to see very different results even if we were to have exactly the same machine.

Makes sense. I take it, then, that the test is simply them sending something to our machines and our machines then sending it back. Very clever!

Harold Mansfield
02-27-2010, 11:57 AM
I see. So, if my nearest Speedtest server is in Austin, TX, 150 miles away from me, in a very heavily populated, very hi-tech area, with heavy demands on the internet - and your nearest Speedtest server is just around the corner from you (under 50 miles) in a less demanding area - we are going to see very different results even if we were to have exactly the same machine.

Pretty much. Once your computer is running smoothly, internet connections, bandwidth, and speed have a lot of variables in between your computer, and where you are trying to get information from.

A bunch of things can go wrong (in a split second) between you and them depending on your connection, their connection, your machine, their servers, your ISP, the hub you are on, what time of day it is..and so forth.

And if you are using a wireless or satellite connection it's a whole new set of variables..connection from the modem to the tower, and then from the tower to the hard line...or from the satellite to the receiver and all the crap that happens in that transition that depend on the earths rotation, the moons gravitational pull, and the sun's flares, rain and wind and what ever..

I don't even want to get into what it takes for a single web page to display properly...taking images, information, and media form multiple sources..that all have to be working at 100&#37;, for you to view a complete picture.

I'm actually amazed the whole thing even works at all.
It all seems so fragile.

Spider
02-27-2010, 12:27 PM
Imagine if it stops working, one day, and we have to go back to writing letters and relying on the US Postal Service! :eek:

Harold Mansfield
02-27-2010, 12:36 PM
Imagine if it stops working, one day, and we have to go back to writing letters and relying on the US Postal Service! :eek:

Not even that. I'd be dead in the water..none of us would be able to get any money out of the bank, medical records, DMV..pretty much any information that we exist, have permission to do stuff, or own anything would be inaccessible.

But so would our credit scores and ratings...inaccessible.

In a matter of a few days, all communications, transportation, and shipping would grind to a halt.
We'd be in real trouble. We'd be out of supplies very quickly and store shelves would be bare.

Especially where I live. We don't grow or make anything here.
No trucks and trains means we have no food. This city is totally dependent on shipping.

We are too far in now to go back and make it. We would have to start civilized society all over again.

vangogh
02-27-2010, 01:16 PM
and we have to go back to writing letters and relying on the US Postal Service!

Letters? US Postal Service? Those terms are somehow familiar, but I really can't place them. I only have a vague idea of their meaning.

Frederick one thing to keep in mind about the speed of your connection is it will only be as fast as the weakest link in the chain. For example Harold is mentioning 50 Mbps as something he can get. However if he's using a laptop that's connected wirelessly to his outgoing modem, he's not going to get that speed, since the wireless connection to the modem will be slower than the wired connection from the modem to the internet.

billbenson
02-27-2010, 03:26 PM
Most ISP's have a speed test to their server. It's somehere near you. They upload some big image.

Try Speakeasy Speed Test (http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/) They do tests from around the world.

Remember, the test is for some image from them to you. A 1mb image is a long way from a 1Gb file. A large file will never get that rate. it will be sent in packets as they see fit. The speed tests are just a bench mark.

Spider
02-27-2010, 03:33 PM
Oh, I don't like SpeakEasy - they made me go even slower!!!

billbenson
02-27-2010, 06:00 PM
Welcome to the real world Spider :)

Spider
02-27-2010, 08:35 PM
...In a matter of a few days, all communications, transportation, and shipping would grind to a halt.
We'd be in real trouble. We'd be out of supplies very quickly and store shelves would be bare...So, if we're going to take over the world, Pinky, all we have to do is hack the internet!

Harold Mansfield
02-28-2010, 12:25 AM
So, if we're going to take over the world, Pinky, all we have to do is hack the internet!

I used to love that show! The Animaniacs, Yacko, Wacko, and Dot.. right ? With Pinky and The Brain ?


Just got the notice for the new service that my ISP is rolling out.
Right now I have 18Mbps which they call "Premier", however I can get the new 50Mbps service (which they are calling "Ultimate") for the same price as a special right now...so I did.

Can't wait, the guy has to come out Sat and give me a new modem for it.
I'm all tingly just thinking about it.
I should be able to multi task my butt off with that and stream all kinds of stuff.

I still think rationing out the bandwidth is a scam, but what are you gonna do?

So the guy came today to hook it up and couldn't. I did get the new modem though, a Cisco DPC/EPC 3000 ( what ever that means)

I guess something needs to be changed or adjusted in the box under the street, so it's supposed to be 24-48 hours to get it up and running.

I did ask how they do it and the only thing he could tell me was that it draws bandwidth off of 3 different servers, instead of just one.

Spider
02-28-2010, 09:12 PM
For you, Harold!

YouTube - Pinky and The Brain Intro (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJPFSNu_QNs)

billbenson
03-02-2010, 04:11 PM
I used to love that show! The Animaniacs, Yacko, Wacko, and Dot.. right ? With Pinky and The Brain ?



So the guy came today to hook it up and couldn't. I did get the new modem though, a Cisco DPC/EPC 3000 ( what ever that means)

I guess something needs to be changed or adjusted in the box under the street, so it's supposed to be 24-48 hours to get it up and running.

I did ask how they do it and the only thing he could tell me was that it draws bandwidth off of 3 different servers, instead of just one.

Sounds like your guy didin't know what he is talking about. They do have servers for email and web hosting if they provide those services. To the best of my knowledge, your cable at you home runs a short distance to a fiber connection, typically at the street (Fiber to the curb). From there it is Mux'd onto a fiber cable going to your ISP's pop. Cable is lossy so you can only have a short run from your house to the fiber mux.

From there, it goes to the ISP. The ISP is just a bunch of routers (packet switches) that look at the IP of the destination for your data and switch it. It may go through a bunch of routers on its way to the final destination. There shouldn't be any servers involved.

The ISP offering their web hosting and email connects their servers to the web just like any host. It has nothing to do with bandwidth.

Your bandwidth is controlled by the router it is connected to. There probably is some other network equipment in there as well. The network equipment at your ISP's POP is smart. It can be programmed to give you X bandwith, meter that bandwidth, prioritize, select the path by which you get from NY to LA, meter the bandwidth so maybe it gives you short bursts of 60mbs and then pauses then comes back to you (thats one reason why a speed test may show a large bandwith but you see a much slower number doing a download).

Try downloading a 4G file. You will get a meter showing you the download speed. It will be something like 300kbs not 60Mbs and will vary. It will stop, slow down, speed up etc. That is because stuff in the network is slowing you down and speeding you up including routers, destination server, peak loads on the web from other users etc.

There may be some inaccuracies in the above, but it is pretty accurate.

Oh, Cisco is a large network equipment manufacturer. Routers etc. They bought Linksys a number of years ago. Maybe they are marketing consumer routers from linksys under the Cisco name now?

Here's an article that appears to be a good description of this: http://www.theshulers.com/whitepapers/internet_whitepaper/index.html